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Pattern Blocks

Welcome to pattern blocks! This is a little program that lets you make geometrical patterns out of blocks. It's just like playing with wooden pattern blocks, but there is one big difference: a group command, which makes it much easier to build large patterns. With group, you can combine blocks into new, bigger blocks, and then make more interesting patterns out of your new blocks.

Some places to start:

NOTE: Java-capable browser required. The Java applet will require you to grant it access privileges. Only do this if you are prepared to trust this site, software, and the author!
Another NOTE: Sometimes the window below will show a white page with some text instead of the gray background with shapes that it is supposed to. If that happens, please use your browser's Reload command to refresh the page, and that will, I hope, fix the problem.

The user interface for Patblocks is a little idiosyncratic, so here's a suggestion for getting started:

You can always drag out new blocks from the blocks on the left edge of the screen. You probably want to avoid the pentagon and octagon, at least to start.

Most of the buttons at the top of the window put PatBlocks in a mode -- Drag, Rotate, Group, Clone, or Delete. Drag is the default.

A very handy hidden feature: in Drag mode, dragging with the shift key held down will rotate the block.

Clicking the right-hand mouse button on a block will bring up some options (Rotate, Scale, Change Color, and others). Macintosh computers have no right-hand mouse button, but you ought to be able to hold down the control key while mousing for the same effect.

The Group button is a little tricky. To make a group --

The Window button moves the pattern block program out of the web page and into its own window, so that it can be enlarged for bigger and better patterns.

The Save button lets you save your pattern in the pattern library.

Comments? Suggestions? Send them here.